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POLA and POLB Marine Terminal Gates Closed Thursday, March 1, 2018, from 5 p.m.

PierPass Inc. has been notified that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will observe a special stop work meeting for union business on Thursday, March 1, 2018, starting at 5 p.m. As a result, no marine terminal gates at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will operate between the hours of 5:00 p.m. on March 1 through 3:00 a.m. on March 2. There will be no OffPeak shift Thursday night March 1.

Please check with individual terminals for substitute or alternative gates.

This labor shutdown falls under Rule 5 of the Marine Terminal Operator Schedule No. 1, which is available at:

ITA: Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to prevent children and adults from suffering further harm, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed an administrative complaint against Britax Child Safety, Inc., alleging that certain models of their B.O.B. jogging strollers (“strollers”) contain defects in their design which present a substantial product hazard.

The complaint charges that consumers reported stroller wheel detachments resulting in injuries to children and adults. Children have suffered injuries including a concussion, injuries to the head and face requiring stitches, dental injuries, contusions and abrasions. Adults have sustained injuries including torn labrum, fractured bones and torn ligaments, contusions and abrasions. The Commission authorized the issuance of the complaint after Britax declined to recall or repair the strollers that pose a substantial risk of injury to children and adults. CPSC staff seeks a finding that the strollers present a substantial product hazard and an order that Britax provide the remedies outlined in the complaint to stop further incidents and injuries to the public.

Britax imported and distributed about 493,000 single and double occupant B.O.B. jogging strollers from December 2011 through September 2015. An undetermined number of strollers were imported and distributed by B.O.B. Trailers, Inc. between 1997 and when it was acquired and merged into Britax in December 2011. The three-wheeled strollers include the following 17 models: Ironman, Ironman Duallie, Revolution, Revolution CE, Revolution Flex, Revolution Flex Duallie, Revolution Pro, Revolution Pro Duallie, Revolution SE, Revolution SE Demo, Revolution SE Duallie, Revolution SE Duallie Plus, Revolution SE Plus, Sport Utility Stroller, Stroller Strides, Stroller Strides Duallie and SUS Duallie.

The complaint charges that the design of the strollers allows a consumer to use the stroller without the front wheel being properly secured. When the quick release fails to secure the front wheel to the fork, the front wheel can suddenly detach during use.

When the front wheel of the stroller detaches, the front fork can dig into the ground and cause the stroller to stop abruptly and tip over, posing a risk of serious injuries to children in the stroller and adults operating the stroller. Since January 2012, approximately 200 consumers have reported front wheel detachments while using the stroller, resulting in at least 97 injuries to children and adult consumers. At least 50 children and 47 adults have been injured.

The Commission voted 3-1 to approve the filing of the complaint which seeks, among other things, an order that the firm stop distributing various models of the Strollers identified above, notify the public of the defect and offer consumers a remedy which may include a repair, replacement, or refund as plead in the complaint.

FDA Oversees Destruction and Recall of Kratom Products; and Reiterates Its Concerns on Risks Associated With This Opioid - Food & Drug Association

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the voluntary destruction and recall of a large volume of kratom-containing dietary supplements manufactured and distributed nationwide under the brand names Botany Bay, Enhance Your Life and Divinity by Divinity Products Distribution of Grain Valley, Missouri. In cooperation with the FDA, the company has also agreed to stop selling all products containing kratom. Based on the scientific evidence of the serious risks associated with the use of kratom, in the interest of public health, the FDA encourages all companies currently involved in the sale of products containing kratom intended for human consumption to take similar steps to take their products off the market and submit any necessary evidence, as appropriate, to the FDA to evaluate them based on the applicable regulatory pathway.

“The extensive scientific data we’ve evaluated about kratom provides conclusive evidence that compounds contained in kratom are opioids and are expected to have similar addictive effects as well as risks of abuse, overdose and, in some cases, death. At the same time, there’s no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “To protect the public health, we’ll continue to affirm the risks associated with kratom, warn consumers against its use and take aggressive enforcement action against kratom-containing products. We appreciate the cooperation of companies currently marketing any kratom product for human consumption to take swift action to remove these products from circulation to protect the public.”

When intended for use as or in a dietary supplement, the FDA considers kratom to be a new dietary ingredient. Generally, any dietary supplement containing kratom would need to be the subject of a New Dietary Ingredient Notification demonstrating that the product will reasonably be expected to be safe. To date, the FDA is not aware of any evidence of safety establishing that kratom (or any compounds derived from kratom) will reasonably be expected to be safe as a dietary ingredient. Additionally, kratom should not be used to treat any medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids. There are currently no FDA-approved therapeutic uses of kratom and importantly, the FDA has evidence to show that there are significant safety issues associated with its use. Before it can be legally marketed for therapeutic uses in the U.S., kratom’s risks and benefits must be evaluated as part of the regulatory process for drugs established by Congress.

“We know that some patients are using kratom because they believe it can help treat their opioid dependency, but there’s no reliable evidence to support kratom’s effectiveness for this use; and we’re deeply committed to making sure patients have access to safe, effective treatment options,” Commissioner Gottlieb added. “There are three FDA-approved products that are safe and effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder and we encourage patients to seek advice from their health care professional and pursue treatment for addiction. Additionally, the FDA is taking new steps to bring new, safe and effective, FDA-approved therapies to the market for treatment of opioid use disorder. We understand that patients suffering from opioid addiction need access to effective treatment options. Creating an efficient pathway for the development of these treatments is a very high priority of mine.”

The FDA recommends that consumers not use these or any kratom products and dispose of any products currently in their possession. While the FDA is not aware of recent reports of illness specifically associated with the use of Divinity Products Distribution’s kratom-containing products, the agency asks health care professionals and consumers to report adverse events or quality problems associated with the use of Divinity Products Distribution’s products or any kratom product to the agency’s online Safety Reporting Portal.

Today’s action follows previous warnings from the FDA regarding kratom – a plant that grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Recently, the FDA also communicated about a computational model developed by agency scientists, which – along with other scientific evidence evaluated by the agency – led to the FDA’s conclusion that compounds in kratom share the most structural similarities with controlled opioid analgesics, such as morphine derivatives, thus making kratom-containing products opioids. The agency has also been assessing peer-reviewed research and a growing number of adverse event reports associated with kratom use, including 44 reported deaths.

Additionally, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are carefully monitoring an active nationwide outbreak across 20 states of a rare type of salmonella associated with kratom products. The agencies will continue to communicate with the public as more information becomes available. This outbreak associated with kratom-containing capsules, teas and powders, underscores the risk that harmful bacteria may contaminate these products when not subjected to manufacturing controls to eliminate that risk, in addition to the overall safety concerns for kratom itself.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

FTC Challenges Schemes That Target or Affect Senior Citizens - Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission has taken legal action against two deceptive schemes that targeted or affected senior citizens with phony sweepstakes offers and bogus computer technical support services that tricked consumers out of tens of millions of dollars.

The two cases were brought in conjunction with an enforcement sweep led by the U.S. Department of Justice aimed at stopping illegal schemes that exploit older Americans.

In the first case, the FTC and the State of Missouri charged two men and their sweepstakes operation with bilking tens of millions of dollars from people throughout the United States and other countries.

The FTC and Missouri allege that the defendants, doing business under dozens of different names, sent tens of millions of personalized mailers falsely indicating that the recipient had won or was likely to win a substantial cash prize, as much as $2 million, in exchange for a fee ranging from $9 to $139.99.

The defendants distribute three types of phony mailers:notices such as “Congratulations, You Have Just Won 1,230,946.00,” when the consumer hasn’t actually won anything;

  • fliers that claim the recipient can win a substantial cash prize by answering a simple arithmetic question and paying a registration fee, but that don’t disclose that there are multiple rounds to the “game of skill,” that the consumer will have to pay additional fees to advance to each round, and that in order to win, the consumer will have to answer a final, complex puzzle that few people, if any, can solve; and
  • mailers that appear to be notices that the consumer has won a prize of $1 million or more, but that are really just newsletter subscription solicitations.

Many people, including seniors, pay the fees several times before realizing they have been deceived. Since 2013, consumers have lost more than $110 million to the defendants’ scheme.

In the second case, the FTC alleges that the defendants worked with Indian telemarketers to trick older Americans into buying bogus technical support services. Specifically, the defendants set up business accounts for the telemarketers, collected and deposited consumer payments, and provided a gloss of legitimacy to the scheme.

The telemarketers, claiming to be from well-known technology companies, told people that hackers would soon break into their computers and rob their bank accounts, and that they should act right away by purchasing expensive security software. According to the FTC, the telemarketers claimed that the software was affiliated with the U.S. government, but in reality it was worthless or old, and available elsewhere for free or at a much lower cost.

While remotely connected to consumers’ computers, purportedly to install security software, the telemarketers also took consumers’ personal information, the FTC alleges. They charged up to tens of thousands of dollars, and later concocted additional phony reasons why the consumers needed more software to avoid new cyberthreats. Several people paid more than $50,000, and one person paid almost $400,000 during a period of several years, often utilizing accounts set up by the defendants.

The defendants in the first case are Kevin R. Brandes; William J. Graham; Next-Gen Inc., also doing business as Award Notification Services, Cash Claim Advisors, Central Award Distribution, International Award Services, National Award Commission, Prize Notification Services Foundation, and Security Dispatch Ltd.; Westport Enterprises Inc., also d/b/a Award Prize Advisory, Award Review Board, Cash Claim Advisors, National Awards Commission, and Security Dispatch Ltd.; Opportunities Unlimited Publications Inc., also d/b/a Entertainment Awards Center, International Award Payment Center, North American Awards Center, and Puzzle Mania; Opportunities Management Co., Summit Management Team LLC, Contest America Publishers Inc., also d/b/a Entertainment Award Company and International Awards Payment Center; Reveal Publications LLC, also d/b/a National Research Company, Fortune Research Bureau and Financial Report Services; AOSR Corporation, formerly known as Subscription Reporter Corporation, f/k/a Sweepstakes Reporter Co., Inc., also d/b/a American Sweepstakes Publisher and National Bureau; Lighthouse FLA Enterprises LLC; and Gamer Designs LLC. They are charged with violating the FTC Act and the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

The FTC appreciates the assistance of these entities in this case: the Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.K. National Trading Standards Scams Team, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, and the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

The defendants in the second case are Parmjit Singh Brar, Genius Technologies LLC, and Avangatee Services LLC. They are charged with violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed temporary restraining order against the Next-Gen defendants was 2-0. The documents were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, on February 20, 2018.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint against Parmjit Singh Brar, Genius Technologies, LLC, and Avangatee Services, LLC was 2-0. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, on February 21, 2018.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court.

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